Story Foundations

Like every house needs a strong foundation, so does a story.

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But not like this foundation. This one isn’t finished.

When I have an idea, it begins to form a basis or a foundation for a story.  That foundation can be just one aspect of the story.  While a house should have concrete as a foundation, a story can be more varied.

My story ideas come from many different things.  For example, Ariadne started out with the setting.  I created the world first, then it started to become filled with stories and people. My most recent idea for the solar system short stories was founded on the concept.  The character and story came after.

A few months ago, I did an online writing course, and one of our tasks was to write a very short story based on a person in a picture.  I wrote a story about a young enlisted man in a space-based military who approaches a woman in a cafe who turns out to be his commanding officer out of uniform.  This actually got me thinking about a bigger story idea.

How do your story ideas form?  What’s the foundation?